Building coalitions between agency staff and across the federal government at large is key to the successful implementation of IT modernization initiatives, according to the chief information officer of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Speaking Thursday at an industry even in Washington, D.C., Mittai Desai said his team has focused on ensuring staff within his agency have a clear understanding of core challenges and feel ownership of each project.
“We have been working hard to break down silos and unify platforms so individuals can carry out their missions more effectively,” Desai said. “It’s the ability to build relationships with internal stakeholders and across the government more broadly.”
He added: “Sharing the responsibility, the pain points and our achievements are paramount for any federal IT project … [w]e have to understand how our customers do their jobs on a daily basis.”
Obtaining buy-in for systems change from frontline IT staff as well as senior department leaders and political appointees is one of the top challenges that agency chief information officers face.
One of the Biden administration’s top technology priorities has been to improve cross-agency collaboration on technology projects, as spelled out in the President’s Management Agenda and through recent memos issued by the Office of Management and Budget.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is an independent agency within the Department of Energy that has about 1,500 employees. Its mission is focused on regulating the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas and oil, and it was preceded by the Federal Power Commission.